AIBU to think I'm being treated badly?(71 Posts)
After 18 months of searching, lots of hard work and plenty of rejections, I finally got a job early this year and I've been working for a month now.
Since the firm is well reputed and the job looked really interesting, I was so excited about starting work.
While I do find the work involved very interesting and the culture of the office is also quite good, I dread going to work because one of my colleagues treats me horribly.
I am completely new to this sort of work and I am being trained by her. I consider myself willing to learn and while I may not be a genius, I don't think I am stupid or a slow leaner. Despite this, I find myself constantly being humiliated and insulted by her. She is rude and patronising and she tries to control everything I do.
She speaks to me like I am a child and she is my teacher. She also tries to pull me into arguments when she knows our manager is around. For example, we often have arguments over what's been taught and what hasn't. I am often explained some things in a hurry and so I obviously don't follow or retain everything. But she'll quiz me on it the next day during some random task that's assigned to me and then after she's made me feel extremely small and stupid for not remembering it all, she'll deny having taught it in a hurry and insist that I have forgotten or that I "should have noted it down somewhere". If there are other colleagues around, she'll try to embarrass me by asking me to explain aloud what she told me yesterday or by "quizzing" me on something.
Her method of teaching is also quite odd and inefficient. Instead of explaining things straight off she will open up documents and ask me to tell her what I understand. Obviously I'm at a loss when she does that because I've never seen those systems or documents before.
It's really hard to explain her attitude in words, but I suppose the best I can say is that her tone is very abrasive and her manner is deliberately condescending.
Given that it's my first full time job and that I am completely new to this line of work, it's obvious that I have to learn from scratch. There will be times when I have to ask questions and sometimes I'll forget and ask the same question twice. I don't understand why this means that I have to be humiliated and intimidated and treated like a wayward child by somebody who is my age and is not even my supervisor or my manager.
I don't know what to do. The other day i couldn't take it any more and I just argued back. As luck would have it, this was overheard by a supervisor who told us off.
I am terrified that she will ruin my chances of retaining the job I've worked so very hard to get.
I have no idea how to work around office politics and I don't want to come off as the new girl who complains. If I say something about her, nothing is stopping her from making things up about me and since she's been around longer I have to assume that she will be believed and I won't.
Any advice on what I should do about this?
You definitely need to speak to your line manager. I would word it that while you're really grateful to X for spending so much time and effort training you, at times you find her style of training confusing and difficult to follow. X seems to be unaware that during the learning process, instructions or methods in the job sometimes need to be repeated in order to be learnt. And give some examples. Also tell line manager that you're really enjoying the job and feel that you've got to grips with certain aspects of the job.
Good luck OP and don't let her get you down.
Do you have a clear list of criteria against which you will be judged to have passed your probationary period?
Well we have a general list of things we are expected to do over the course of the year to develop within the firm. However, the probationary period is not discussed much at all and I don't know what specific criteria will be applied to pass someone.
I want to take a moment here and thank everyone for their supportive words and advice I've become so used to being spoken to badly and being put down constantly and the kindness and support you have all shown is such a nice feeling!
I forgot to mention -she sometimes takes needlessly long to explain things just so that I'm delayed in getting back to my desk and therefore can't meet deadlines.
She also makes things more complicated than they are while explaining.
Are you bring trained at your desk or in a room? It all sounds very odd. There should be procedures to follow. Verbal training if its complicated should have pre written processes.
Slow her down by making notes ie 1. Go to x screen. 2. Select from the drop down menu item x etc etc.
If she goes too fast, say so. If she gets impatient don't react. Just say " I'm making notes, and at the end can you just initial it so that you're happy I've got all the steps down"
You need to see your line manager Monday and ask for constructive feedback, plus a plan for the next coming months for end of probation period.
I think you are finding the probation period is just lip service and not a formal process which you may have been expecting. I don't think this is the right work environment for you.
You could say that your learning style is clashing. You sound like a reflective learner and she sounds more like someone who liked to learn by doing (an active learner) and so she passes on information to you in that style. You might benefit from someone who trains in your style.
I think you need to have a good think about whether this is where you want to work long term.
It's not just the crappy colleague - it's also an unsupportive line manager who doesn't give you encouragement or stand up for you.
It sounds worryingly to me as though there may be a culture of bullying in your workplace.
Is there a union OP? If so, join pronto and they will help you resolve this.
No, there's no union that I could ask for help. There is HR of course, but as I said I feel too new and unsure to take such steps.
And to answer the other question, I am being trained at my desk and at the desk of my colleague. Often I go over to sit at her desk to learn the procedures. There are some written procedures but they are very basic (sort of like go from A to B and then C) and they don't cover what to do when things go wrong (and they go wrong very often in my line of work). So when that happens, i have to ask my colleague and have her train me on that as we go along.
At this point I don't want to think about quitting because I have always thought very highly of this company. Moreover, it has taken me months to find this job and I don't have the energy or motivation to go through that rather traumatic process all over again.
One thing you could consider doing is going to your line manager and asking for an interim "progress report" on how she feels you're getting on.
If she asks why you feel you need one, then you can say that you're becoming a little demoralised because you're always being picked up on the obscure things you don't know, rather than anyone noticing all the things you have learnt and are doing well - so you'd like to know if you're generally considered to be doing ok, or should you be doing something different.
You don't have to make a direct complaint to put what is happening to you out there.
That's fair enough, foreverjinxed, I just mean try and keep your option open, you know? Hang on to this job but keep your ear to the ground and don't be afraid to move on if something else comes up.
Don't feel you're trapped there forever - it's so much easier to find a job when you already have one so don't end up getting trapped into something for years IF it turns out to be the wrong fit for you (which may well not turn out to be the case anyway).
Take notes on everything she is teaching you, then hand her your notes and ask her to check and initial to say that you've noted all the relevant detail. Pesent it to her as being for your own peace of mind etc etc.
I've spoken to friends and family in real life about this but most of them have been so unsympathetic about it. This issue can sound so trivial when verbalised, you really have to be there to understand how awful it is.
isn't there anybody else who can train you?
I think it's perfectly ok to accept that the two of you don't gel and that, in both of your interests, you're better off trying to train under someone else.
Have a read of this - see if it helps.
I don't know how I can ask for someone else to train me without complaining about this trainer.
I'd say to the trainer that you feel you don't work well together and, for that reason, you have asked to be assigned a different trainer as clearly it's in both of your interests to get the job done as smoothly and quickly as possible.
You're not complaining you're just being sensible and professional in acknowledging that you are just not a good fit.
Sounds like the woman has it in for you and I'd have thought the longer you persevere with her the worse it will be,, so you need to shake her off
Can you request you are trained by someone else and state that present teaching style doesn't suit your learning style.
I'd speak to the manager about your differences in learning vs. training and ask whether there's any way to have X train you for a little while to see how that goes.
I'd suggest making suggestions about learning tasks to improve productivity. Like an action plan for how to get work done and training done.
Could you could move your computer next to someone temporarily while training so you have that instant feedback?
I also personally make Word documents at every new job that outline all my tasks. I do the training, do the job and them write a very detailed "how to" guide for that task (all in one document) so if I need to go back and refer to it it's there (and also good if someone has to sub for me).
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